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Discovering your Patient't Journey

From the moment a patient seeks medical care for an injury or makes an appointment with their family doctor to determine the cause of their recent symptoms, the patient has begun a journey during which multiple people may be involved.

Hospitals, physicians, nurses, and other providers, may all be, at one point or another, involved in this patient journey.

When we start to think of the “Patient Journey” we need to think of these things:

  • What they are going through?
  • What are their pain points before they get to you?
  • What are they experiencing and struggling with?

By identifying these things this helps you as a business owner be able to provide the right resources they are looking for.

In today’s healthcare landscape, consumers have more options, choices, and resources when it comes to the direction of their own care. This ecosystem shift slab that the patient transportation is not a linear one, but rather a multi-stage clause with many different channels and touch points along with the media (much like a tree with dozens of different branches).

A few stages of the “Patient Journey” –

Awareness: Self-assessment of barrier and symptoms, leading to online research and education, consequence problem on social media, etc. This is the start id their journey, they have recognized that something is not right with their body, or how they feel. Most people will become aware of their issue and then start the research process. 

This is where they will spend hours online on different tools like Google, Pinterest, Facebook, WedMd, etc. to try to identify what they are going through.

Help: At this point, the patient understands they need help with their symptoms and are looking for the correct place to go. This is where your resource marketing comes into handy because you have been building a rapport with your patients, they trust you and know you are the right person to start with. 

Care: This piece is where the “know, like, trust” factor comes in. When a patient chooses you to be their caretaker and help them with their issues or symptoms this is a really big deal. most people just think I am a doctor and this is what I am supposed to do, but you are doing so much more. You are becoming a large resource mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

Treatment: You may be on the journey with these patients for a while, or just a couple visits. It’s important to take note of their treatment so you can use that data to help other patients like them. Treatment can be anything from home remedies, physical therapy, chemo, counseling, whether it be large or small treatment it will be a world of difference to your patient if they are no longer in pain. 

Behavioral/Lifestyle Change: Changes to reduce readmissions and promote proactive health. How has your care and treatment helped them to live a better life? This piece right here is the end goal, this is what people are looking for. 

  • Do they want to be able to walk with ease again?
  • Be able to live to see their family grow?
  • Be able to overcome their fears?

Whatever that lifestyle is for them that they will be able to achieve when they are doing work with you and your practice is the first step to your digital marketing. They are wanting something better in their life, they became aware of their problem, sought help, got treatment, and now ready to live their life again.

Ongoing Care/Proactive Health: What is the call-to-action? Do they need to come for follow-up appointments, exercises at home, home remedies, physical therapy, etc.? What do they need to do to continue their lifestyle and be proactive from here on out? 

It’s important for the patient to understand their journey and continue to improve. 

WHAT IS PATIENT JOURNEY MAPPING?

Patient route mapping in the healthcare industry is a data-driven, patient-centric approach to planning marketing activity, communications, and (to some degree) even delivery care. It’s a way to gather the facts, discover the anticipation of your patient, and then line-up that information to deliver an exemplary healthcare experience.

What testament a patient excerpt map do for you?

In short, patient section maps give you a clear guide for how to improve retention and acquisition through customer satisfaction. Exceeding patient expectation benefits your saps relation convenience twofold:

  1. It increases retention rates through patient satisfaction
  2. It increases new patient acquisition through evangelism

Word of mouth is still, and most likely always will be the best form of marketing, but if you can really connect with your patient’s on a much deeper level and be able to provide information, be a resource for them and their family. This allows you to take your digital marketing to the next level and reach more people. 

Conclusion

Active listening and putting systems in place is key! You will always want a steady flow of patient’s, and as their lives change maybe they move or find a different doctor or maybe your services are no longer needed, it’s important to keep that pipeline full with new and potential patient’s that need your services.

Digital marketing is a great way to connect with a potential patient’s in your community and be more than just a provider, but a resource. Once people feel they can trust your practice and get their questions answered, that’s when the magic happens. They start talking about you online and referring you more and more.

A few things to do when you get a new patient:

  1. Collect their email address – don’t just leave this in your system and not do anything with it, add it to your CRM like MailChimp, InfusionSoft, SalesForce, MyEmma, Constant Contact, etc. an email software so you can send them monthly newsletters with valuable information.
  2. Ask them to like you on Facebook or Instagram
  3. Invite them to leave a positive review on Google and/or Facebook once they are satisfied with their treatment
  4. Then have a strong social media presence to continue to stay top of mind

Remember, you are an important piece of your patient’s journey!

Learn more about  3 Tested Tactics to Integrate Patient Journey in Digital Marketing Strategy

Understanding your patient's journey and How to market to them online

How to Use Digital Marketing to Grow your Healthcare Practice

As a healthcare practice, it is really important to stay top of mind with your current patients and also future patients. By using digital marketing there are so many ways to stay connected.

One question we get asked a lot is:  

“How do we increase our engagement and promote our practice with digital marketing?”

Well, that answer is a little tricky since there are many different options out there. It’s more of a combination of different tools to make your digital marketing work for you. In the digital marketing world, it is about trial and error, seeing what your audience responds to the most and how to start those conversations. 

In this blog, I am going to talk about 5 ways to help increase your engagement and promote your practice. 

Word of mouth and referral marketing are still the best ways to grow your practice, but with people being able to access information from SO many places we have to be a little more creative and think outside the box to build those relationships and loyalty.

Once they have come into your practice you want to make sure you stay top of mind, more importantly, you want to make sure you have good online profiles so it is easy for your audience to refer you.

How many of you have wanted to try something new with digital marketing but just don’t know where to start or what to try?

Social media marketing is one of the most popular ways to get in front of your current audience and potential new patients.

You can do this organically or implement paid ads as well. This is not an overnight success, it does take time, but it does work!

Let’s talk about the 5 Ways to Help Increase Your Engagement and Promote Your Practice:

1. Instagram

We have been talking about Instagram a lot this year and we will continue to do so, it is one of the fastest growing social media platforms with the average age 35-65-year-olds. Instagram is all about the visuals, from building a strong brand presence on your feed, having font styles on your images, color scheme, image theme, etc. this makes your feed look clean and interesting. Let’s dive into how to master Instagram Stories

This biggest thing with Instagram right now is the Instagram Stories, these stories only stay up for 24-hours, so this is a great place for:

One really cool thing you can do with these stories is “Highlight” them, this saves them into an area about your feed pictures, you can categorize them so all your stories go to the correct boards.  This turns into a great resource for your audience, each video on Instagram Stories can be 15 seconds long, you can record a 45sec to a 1 min long video and then use this app called CutStory and it automatically cuts your video into 15-second increments for you to share.

How to highlight Instagram Stories

You can also create branded Instagram stories images with Canva, they have different themes you can choose from, you can use your own font styles, brand colors, logo, and images.

Now, you may be thinking what if I do a video that is more than 1-minute long, where should I put that? Well, don’t worry, Instagram has you covered and that is where IGTV comes into play. This is similar to YouTube but it allows your audience to watch the full video on Instagram, they don’t have to leave the platform.

A few ideas to create IGTV videos around are:

  • New mother tips
  • Birthing Plan
  • Vaccines
  • Physical Therapy
  • Counseling Tips
  • National Observance Days
  • Surgery Tips
  • New medical practices
  • Interviews with nurses and doctors

Instagram has a lot of bells and whistles you are able to tap into and really grow a long-lasting relationship with your audience.

2. Video Marketing

It’s 2019 and it’s all about the videos! Video marketing is huge and will continue to grow. Videos are great because it allows your audience to connect with you quicker. We wrote a blog a few months ago about “How to Create a Strong Video Marketing Strategy” videos are something you either love or hate.

Videos can be educational for your audience, videos with closed captions are even better. Here are a few good stats about video:

Let’s dive into the statistics behind healthcare marketing with video:

  1. About 46% of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video. (Source: Eloqua)
  1. Video is now the sixth most popular content marketing tactic, as 70% of B2B marketers use some form of online video with their overall strategies. (Source: Eloqua)
  1. Of the 80% of internet users who watched a video ad, 46% took some sort of action after viewing the ad. (Source: Video Brewery)
  1. The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. (Source: Mist Media)
  1. Video and e-mail marketing can increase click-through rates by more than 90%.(Source: Mist Media)
  1. Video equals higher viewer retention. The information retained in one minute of online video is equal to about 1.8 million written words. (Source: Brainshark)
  1. Video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors, doubles their time spent on the site and has a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
  1. Blog posts incorporating video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (Source: SEOmoz
  1. 59% of senior executives prefer video over text. (Source: Brainshark)
  1. Having a video on the landing page of your site makes it 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of Google(Source: Mist Media)

Source Here

When you think of video marketing, most people think you have to have a studio, pay a professional, take a lot of time on editing, props, backgrounds, and more. In all honesty with the technology of the newer smartphones and HD cameras, you can really shoot your own videos in office. Actually, the more authentic videos are the ones that get the most engagement online.

A couple of things to remember when shooting a video from your smartphones when you are recording a video for Instagram be sure to have your phone vertical, and when shooting a video for YouTube, Blogs, or Facebook you will want your phone horizontal.

Let’s start recording! Be Authentic, real, give value, and have fun!

3. Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are climbing higher on the list for digital marketing, gone are the days where just having a Facebook page worked, Facebook pages work great if you plan on spending money on ads.

There are a ton of Facebook groups out there that your practice can join, you can even start your own group.

For example – Let’s say you are a women’s medical office, Your services include OB-GYN, birthing center, primary care, pediatrician, etc. But, one special thing that your office focuses on is wanting to help new mothers with education. Vaccines, breastfeeding, car seats, home care, feeding, etc. Most of your patients come from within a 25-mile radius of your office, you can create a group on Facebook called “Tips for New Mothers YOUR CITY” in this group you can invite your current patients to join, post daily, as your group continues to grow you will post two or three times a day. You are creating a community of women that are going through the same thing and want answers. You can allow the members of the group to post questions and concerns for your practice to answer. This is a wonderful way to create trust with your patients. You can then start to mention the other services your practice offers.

In this video below, I will show you how to start a group from scratch and also how to search for groups to join.

4. Email Marketing

Email marketing is NOT dead, I know some may think that email marketing and newsletters are a waste of time, but they actually work great. It is a convenient way to stay top of mind with your patients. With social media marketing and the algorithms it’s hard to really know who has seen your organic posts, then to monitor the engagement. Now, the insights and analytics on the social media platforms tell you how many likes, comments, and shares you had on posts. With email marketing, you can actually see who opened your emails, who read them, and who clicked through to your website.

There are a few ways to incorporate email marketing into your plan:

  • Content Upgrades, also known as Free downloads. This is a piece of content you put together for your ideal patient to download, in order for them to download it they have to submit their name and email. For example – if we go back to the example in number 3, you could create:
    • Newborn checklist
    • Going home checklist
    • Breastfeeding Tips
    • New Momma Myths
    • Top 10 products to have at home for your new baby
    • etc.

This pdf would then be uploaded to your website and linked into MailChimp or Leadpages to create a landing page with the form for name and email, you can then push this out to social media, your current email list of current patients. Over time you will create quite a few content upgrades. Make a list of different checklists, ebooks, resources you can create for your patients now and then you push that out to gain new email subscriptions to grow your email list. This is an example of what a sign-up form looks like:

  • Newsletters – You can send weekly or monthly newsletters to your lists, in some cases you may have multiple lists and can customize a newsletter for each list based on your audience. It is important to understand what your audience wants to know about so you can pack your newsletters with valuable content. It doesn’t matter if you do weekly updates or monthly, what matters most is consistency. Whatever you choose to do be sure to stick with it. You can also incorporate your videos into these emails, this allows you to build those deeper relationships!

5. Blogging

Blogging serves dual purposes, it is great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and it allows you to show your expertise. When you are promoting your practice on social media your end goal is to get them back to your website to sign-up for your email list, book an appointment, or fill out paperwork, how do you give them an incentive to go back to your website?

When blogging just like everything else we have spoken about it is all about consistency. One blog per month or two, as long as you do one each month, these are no longer 300-500 word blogs, these are cornerstone blogs which means 1500+ words per blog. We recently wrote a blog on how to share your blog, in that post there is a FREE download, a blog checklist, you can download it here.

Your blogs should cover content that your audience wants to learn about, whether this is myths around vaccines, childbirth, new momma tips, etc.

This is where you tie the above 1-4 items into your blogging. In each blog post you will be:

  • Making an image you can share onto Instagram
  • Make a “teaser” video for Instagram with 3 inside tips from your blog
  • Create a longer video for IGTV about your blog
  • Create videos to go inside your blog post – you will place these videos on YouTube then insert them into your blog posts
  • You can also create a content upgrade or call to action for your readers to sign-up for your email list. Here is an example of a great blog post

Your website/blog is your hub, you want to drive traffic to your hub. Once your blog is complete you can then share it to multiple platforms with links back to your site, this helps reach new potential patients as well.

As you can see through these 5 different marketing platforms, they each allow you to grow your practice and connect with your audience on a deeper level. They all work based on consistency and planning. This is why having a digital marketing plan is so important.

If you are ready to take control of your digital marketing and want to see how to implement these tasks into your marketing plan please schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation with us today! 

How to Use Digital Marketing to Grow your Healthcare Practice